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Bad stick causing BSOD/reboot/crash to desktop?


JohnFox

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Hi,

 

I've had the system described in my profile since Dec '08 (5 months) and have been plagued with BSODs, rebbots and crashes to desktop - sometimes 8 a day, though some days no problem.

 

I ran memtest a while back for about an hour, and it came up clean.

 

I tried reinstalling Vista and making sure everything was up to date, but the problems continued.

 

I ran memtest again last week, overnight, and got multiple fails on test #5 (block moves).

 

Given advice that this might be latency settings in the BIOS, I went to the BIOS and found that it had auto detected 9-9-9-24, and 1.5v.

 

The 9-9-9-24 seems to be right given the FSB of the processor is 1333Mhz (but I may not know what I'm talking about!).

 

Just for fun, I changed the settings to 7-7-7-20 and 1.8v (which is the spec for 1600Mhz), and the system ran beautifully (memtest and normal application use) for two and a hal days, after which the problems all returned (crashes and memtest fails).

 

I swapped the RAM sticks from slots 1 & 3 to 2 & 4 - no difference.

 

I swapped them from 2 & 4 to 4 & 2 (i.e. swapped them over) - no difference.

 

I removed one stick from slot 4, leaving me with 1 GB in slot 2 (we'll call this stick A) - memtest still failed (still always test #5).

 

I put the other stick (stick B) in slot 2 - memtest passed for about an hour.

 

Back to stick A - memtest failed within 5 minutes.

 

Back to stick B - memtest passed for two hours.

 

Back to stick A - memtest failed within 5 minutes.

 

I then left stick B (presumed good) in for a whole day of application use with no problems.

 

Next day, memtested stick A (presumed bad) - no errors in 2 hours (bother!).

 

More tests:

 

* 8 hours memtest with stick B - no errors

* 8 hours memtest with stick A - 48 errors (all test #5)

 

The evidence would seem to point to a problem with stick A, but there's some odd behaviour in that sometimes everything works for a couple of hours or days, and other times it fails quite quickly.

 

Thoughts?

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(btw, another day of tests showed the "good" stick clean and the "bad" stick with errors - though they took 4 and a half hours to start showing)

 

I bought the memory as part of a custom-built PC from a place in Melbourne, Australia (I'm in Tasmania, Australia).

 

Do I return the memory direct to you, or to the dealer in Melbourne (CentreCom)?

 

Thanks

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The reseller has agreed to help (sort of).

 

I mail it back to them, they'll test it, and if they can get it to fail, they will return it to you on warranty, and send me the replacements when they arrive (if they can't get it to fail, they'll charge me AUD45.00, and mail them back to me at my cost - nice).

 

(BTW, I also submitted an RMA request, as I may decide sending straight to you is the simpler and faster option!)

 

Also, given that the memtest fails are almost always test #5 (though I had a few in test #7 last night), and sometimes take several hours to materialise, what are the odds that it really is a faulty module?

 

Some of your other posts have suggested that both these factors point to other issues, like heat or settings.

 

But the errors only ever seem to happen on the one particular module, which seems strange.

 

I don't want to wear a $45.00+freight fee from my reseller just to be back where I started!

 

Thanks

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Yep, I'm asking around - most have mobos which take DDR2, though.

 

Further testing:

 

10 hours of app use and 8 1/2 hours of memtest with no errors with the "presumed good" module.

 

Swapped to "presumed bad" module, ran test #5, the errors started after about 7 minutes.

 

Is there any reason why heat/settings/compatibility/etc issues (i.e. not a module fault) would manifest themselves only in one module?

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All the recent testing at the auto defaults of:

CPU clock ratio: 8x

Fine CPU Clock Ratio: +0.5

CPU Frequency: 2.83 GHz (333x8.5)

 

CPU Host Frequency: 333

 

Memory Frequency: 1333

Standard Timing Control:

CAS Latency Time : 9

tRCD: 9

tRP: 9

tRAS: 24

 

Voltages:

...

DRAM:

DRAM Voltage: 1.500V

DRAM Termination: 0.750V

Ch-A Data VRef: 0.750V

Ch-B Data VRef: 0.750V

Ch-A Address VRef: 0.750V

Ch-B Address VRef: 0.750V

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The CPU FSB speed is 1333Mhz - which is what the memory is set to.

 

I've previously had the memory voltage manually set to 1.8v, and still had major stability issues, although I haven't done the memtests with that setting.

 

A couple of questions on that:

 

1) Why 1.7 rather than 1.8 (1.8 is printed on the module label)?

2) What would be the likely effect of setting the voltage too low (e.g. 1.5v)?

 

(Added later)

The mobo spec sheet includes this:

"Memory 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 8 GB of system memory

Dual channel memory architecture

Support for DDR3 1900 (O.C.)/1600/1333/1066/800 MHz memory modules (Refer to Memory support list for more information)"

 

I can change the DRAM voltage in the BIOS to 1.7v (or 1.8v), but does the above mean that it's not going to supply more that 1.5v?

Am I looking at a basic incompatibility between mobo and memory?

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  • Corsair Employees
Please use what ever voltage is printed on the label, and that is the basic MB spec as long as you can set the tested settings of the modules you should be fine and for sure you should run memtest on each module one at a time to make sure one is not failing.
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